Self-Made Man

Norah Vincent, Author, Norah Vincent, Read by , read by the author. Penguin Audio $35.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-14-305846-5

Vincent, a tomboy from childhood, decided to see if the right makeup and skilled coaching could effect a sex transformation complete enough to get her accepted in her new guise as a man. For a year and a half, she went undercover to gather experiences such as joining a men's bowling league, getting a job in a testosterone-fueled door-to-door sales company, and going on a retreat with a secretive male empowerment club. Vincent's writing is quite evocative as she describes the process of becoming "Ned," but its disappointing that her narration doesn't demonstrate the masculine voice she developed. Her reading is mostly monotonous, only occasionally adding inflections that hint at the self-loathing she often felt as she deceived everyone she encountered. This abridgment omits two chapters, but the remaining ones still give an excellent sense of the project and the insights she gained. At the outset, Vincent notes that her experiment is not a sociological treatise but just a single woman's view of a guy's world. But her sharp powers of observation and crisp writing, which shine through even when her reading sounds bored, ensure that listeners finish feeling that they have learned a great deal along with her about the slippery workings of gender in America. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover. (Reviews, Nov. 14). (Jan.)

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Reviewed on: 02/06/2006
Release date: 02/01/2006
Genre: Audio
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-1-84354-504-0
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-7862-8672-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 304 pages - 978-1-4295-1783-6
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-0-14-303870-2
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4295-1538-2
Hardcover - 290 pages - 978-0-670-03466-6
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-20134-3
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